New Jersey wrong to blame physicians for health care disparities

LETTER — Posted May 9, 2005

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Regarding "Cultural competency now law in New Jersey" (Article, April 25): The recently signed bill in New Jersey requiring physicians to demonstrate "cultural competence" is just another striking example of the current anti-physician political climate.

This bill will require physicians to obtain certification from the state to receive or renew licensure.

Any fee charged for this would be essentially a tax on physicians. At the same time it is a scheme to pander for minority votes.

Physician training is not the cause of disparities in medical care delivery. Ironically, at the same time, the Legislature and acting governor of New Jersey are cutting funding for Medicaid and other state programs that provide assistance to the very same groups that are the "victims" of the alleged inabilities of physicians.

Once again, politicians have managed to create a revenue source while shifting blame for poor outcomes onto the backs of the physician community.

Steven Nachtigall, MD, Northfield, N.J.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/05/09/edlt0509.htm.

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